THE final full council meeting of the municipal year in the borough features a packed agenda, with members set to discuss issues that were cut from previous proceedings in controversial circumstances.

Next Wednesday’s meeting at the town hall will also be the last gathering of this cohort of councillors with the local elections on the horizon.

Five motions are tabled for debate, including a pair submitted by opposition representatives that were due to be heard back in January.

That meeting was brought to an abrupt end after leader Cllr David Molyneux proposed a vote to suspend proceedings early.

The move came amid angry outbursts as the chamber was asked to note the outcome of a code of conduct hearing regarding outspoken independent member Cllr Bob Brierley.

It has meant Tory representative Cllr Kath Houlton and Cllr Stuart Gerrard, an independent, have had to wait three months to have their motions discussed in the chamber as the previous full council in March was restricted to budget setting matters only.

Here is a rundown of the motions set for debate at the meeting on April 17.


Cllr Houlton’s motion asks for the council to support upgrades to the West Coast Main Line from Crewe to Wigan as an alternative to local HS2 proposals.

Seconded by leader of the opposition Cllr Mike Winstanley, it states Warrington Council has already backed these plans which are also supported by local residents groups in the Lowton and Golborne area.

The move is in response to proposals for a spur of the HS2 route being constructed through the borough that would only result in one extra train per hour to Birmingham stopping at Wigan North Western station.

Most trains to use the new route may not stop in Wigan, campaigners have said, meaning the borough will not get enough reward for the disruption endured by residents.

The motion reads: “This Council would have the benefit of actually increasing the possible number of HS2 services via Wigan, whilst protecting the communities of Lowton and Golborne from the destructive consequences of the current proposals.”

Atherton civic venue proposal

The council is being asked by Cllr Gerrard, who represents Atherton, to undertake a feasibility study to build a new facility in his ward.

The motion says a new civic venue would "support community cohesion and events, reduce isolation for residents and provide a dedicated centre for our town’s youth".

It has been seconded by Tory member for Lowton East, Cllr James Grundy.

Mental health programme board

Deputy leader and cabinet member for adult social care Cllr Keith Cunliffe will call on colleagues to mark the introduction of the council’s mental health programme board.

He has requested the new body will report to the existing health and social care scrutiny committee and children and young people scrutiny committee "to provide support and challenge, helping it to deliver improved health outcomes".

School funding

Cabinet member for children and families Cllr Jenny Bullen is asking for the council to support a campaign calling for increased funding for schools.

The motion reads: “This Council fully supports the (National Governance Association) campaign in lobbying the government to properly fund school budgets in the next comprehensive spending review, to ensure that all our children and young people receive the standard of education they deserve.”

Affordable homes

The final motion, submitted by cabinet member for housing and welfare Cllr Terry Halliwell, wants the chamber to note the council’s efforts in providing affordable housing across the borough.

It reads: “The Council has directly provided in excess of 400 affordable homes for rent, since 2010, and we welcome a further 136 currently in a programme scheduled for the next two years.

“This Council is asked to make a further commitment to explore further funding opportunities, as they present themselves, to provide more social housing in the future.”

Local elections; please note Cllr Jenny Bullen and Cllr Kath Houlton are standing for election in Ashton and Lowton East wards, respectively.

Here is a list of candidates for the two wards:


Jenny Bullen (Lab)

Geoffrey Stephen Matthews (Liberal Democrats)

Michael Moulding (Independent Network)

Mark Temperton (UKIP)

Marie Winstanley (Tory)

Lowton East 

Mary Patricia Houghton (UKIP)

Kath Houlton (Tory)

Gary Peter Lloyd (Lab)